In our modern times of glasses made by Google, Bluetooth technology, and smart telephones, parents are increasingly wiring their children, and even their babies, up with wearable tech. While most parents and professionals would agree that being able to monitor where your child is via GPS is helpful, there is growing disagreement about wearables for babies. The market for such devices has exploded over the past few years. Now there are socks that measure a baby's pulse, pacifiers with thermometers, onsies that provide breathing a movement data, and a whole host of other types of baby-wearables that push your baby's data onto your smart phone's app.
Generally, there has been no big news story about a baby being injured due to wearable technology. In fact, one such device maker claims that in the 300,000 units his company has sold, he has not heard of a single infant death. Nevertheless, there are currently no wearable tech items for babies that are approved by the FDA. Additionally, numerous studies have been published which discourage the use of wearables for infants.
Why Not Wire Up Baby?
According to the researchers and doctors, wearable tech for infants is understudied, and there are few regulations that cover the devices. Additionally, researches explain that wearables for babies are notorious for producing false positives, or false alarms, which will drive parents crazy, and could potentially be dangerous due to false diagnoses.
One of the bigger fears of researchers is that parents will rely too heavily on the wearable technology which will lead to general bad parenting. Additionally, researchers warn parents that any wearable that claims to protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) should be avoided. As SIDS has been studied for years now, researchers have found that cardiorespiratory monitors don't actually help prevent SIDS.
Due to the lack of consensus among researchers, if you are considering using a piece of wearable tech for your baby, it might be best to do the following:
- Get your baby's doctor's opinion on the safety of the device
- Use good quality batteries, if required
- Follow all of the safety warnings that come with the product
- Use common sense and Google what you don't know.
If your child is injured as a result of a baby wearable, you should contact a consumer protection attorney that can help you file a claim, and notify the FDA, FTC, and any other necessary government agency.
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